Abraham Lincoln, American Prince: Ancestry, Ambition and the Anti-Slavery Cause

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by Wayne Soini

The relationship between Abraham Lincoln and his two most influential ancestors--his mother and "the Virginia planter," a slaveholder, a shadowy grandfather he likely never met--is rarely mentioned in Lincoln biographies or in history texts. However, Lincoln, forever linked to the cause of freedom and equality in America, spoke candidly of the planter to his law partner, Billy Herndon, who recalled his words, "My mother inherited his qualities and I hers. All that I am or ever hope to be I get from my mother--God bless her." This vital two-generation relationship was nonetheless problematic. In Lincoln's boyhood the planter was a figure he ridiculed while in his young manhood the planter evolved into a role model whom Lincoln revered and associated with Jefferson's overdue ideal that "all men are created equal." Thus galvanized "by blood" to educate himself, to stand for election and to oppose slavery, Lincoln quit farming at age 22. This book explains how he thus followed an inherited family dream.

  • Paperback
  • 211 pages
  • Release date: February 16, 2022